In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Explore the woods skills sessions

General Fund: £2,000

Old Hanging Wood is a community woodland located near Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire close to the historic Chenies Manor visited by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The woodland covers over 16 acres and is designated by Natural England as Ancient Replanted Woodland, with origins dating back to before 1600 AD.

The organisation launched as a not-for-profit in 2020, but due to the Covid 19 pandemic, was inactive for some time. Now, thanks to a grant of £2,000 from Heart of Bucks, Old Hanging Wood has been able to launch a successful series of skills sessions, inviting participants of all ages to learn and engage in various woodland activities, as well as monthly environmental walks and tree planting activities. These sessions have included Children’s Bushcraft, and Hedgelaying (taught by Donato Cinicolo – 12 times champion hedgelayer of Hertfordshire). Many of these sessions are free to attend. Participants have left the sessions not only with new skills, but also new friendships and an appreciation for the ancient woodland.

With these walks and other activities, Old Hanging Wood have improved access to the woodland for all Buckinghamshire residents, allowing them to explore the nature that surrounds them. This has a positive effect on physical, mental and social wellbeing, reducing isolation and disadvantage, and improving mental health. The group have also opened up more possibilities for exercise and wellbeing through access to open woodland space.

To read more about Old Hanging Wood, click here.

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